Marquette Travels to No. 15 Butler on Saturday

Oct. 28, 2016

2016 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 15
Marquette (4-6-4, 1-4-2 BIG EAST) at Butler (9-5-1, 4-3-0 BIG EAST)
Date Saturday, Oct. 29 | 6:00 p.m. CT
Location Butler Bowl | Indianapolis, Ind.
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MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s soccer team closes out the road portion of its schedule with a Saturday showdown against Butler, which is reeling after four losses in its previous five matches entering play. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Central time in Indianapolis.

The Last Meeting
Butler (Senior Day)2
Marquette0
October 31, 2015
Valley Fields
Marquette Soccer Falls to Butler on Senior Night
On senior night at Valley Fields, the Marquette University men's soccer team was unable to answer two first-half goals by Butler in a 2-0 setback Saturday, Oct. 31. Junior David Goldsmith provided both tallies for the Bulldogs in the 23rd and 30th minutes.

The Golden Eagles (4-6-4, 1-4-2 BIG EAST), despite falling to BIG EAST leader Providence on Wednesday, is still in contention for a spot in the BIG EAST tournament as none of the 10 teams in the conference have been mathematically eliminated yet. Marquette needs to win its final two regular season games against the Bulldogs on Saturday and DePaul on Nov. 3 to remain in the conversation.

Butler (9-5-1, 4-3-0 BIG EAST) was sitting atop the conference prior to a 1-0 setback to Creighton back on Oct. 7. It was the beginning of a now-difficult stretch for the Bulldogs as they have gone on to drop four of five matches entering play on Saturday. A shocking 1-0 overtime loss to DePaul on the road on Wednesday has Butler sitting in fifth place in the current BIG EAST standings.

The Golden Eagles made things interesting after Luka Prpa’s team-leading ninth goal in the 78th minute at Providence, but the team ultimately fell short by a 2-1 result. Prpa overtook the league-lead with 24 points on nine goals and six assists and is the front-runner for BIG EAST Freshman of the Year with two regular season matches remaining.

Marquette struggled to put a solid 90 minutes together as they fell behind 2-0 in the first half at Providence before outplaying the Friars in the second 45 minutes. When the Golden Eagles put together a solid performance in both halves, it typically results in a dominating effort as all four of the team’s victories have featured four-goal outputs.

Butler is a tough opponent on its home turf, going 6-1-0 so far this season. Both offenses are in the top half of the conference in goals scored with the Bulldogs averaging 1.93 goals per game and the Marquette at 1.71. The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series, 4-3, but the Bulldogs have won each of the previous two meetings and have yet to drop a home match to MU following two prior matchups at the Butler Bowl.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Butler is currently No. 15 in the NSCAA Top 25 rankings with a 9-5-1 overall record, including a 4-3-0 mark in BIG EAST play. However, it was just a few weeks ago that the Bulldogs had reached their highest ranking in school history, coming in No. 6 in the NSCAA Top 25. Since then, they have dropped four of five matches and are coming off shocking 1-0 double overtime setback to DePaul, which scored with just 5 seconds remaining in the second extra-time session on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs are the highest-scoring team in the BIG EAST, totaling nearly 2.00 goals per game while outscoring opponents 29-17 on the season. In league play alone, the goal differential shrinks to 11 goals scored versus eight goals allowed. Over its last five matches, Butler has been outscored 5-2 and been shutout three times.

The key for the opposition has been keeping leading scorer David Goldsmith off the scoreboard. The senior has not scored in each of the last five matches and still ranks tied for second in the league, behind only Marquette’s Luka Prpa (24 points), with 23 points on 10 goals and three assists. Eight Bulldogs have found the back of the net in all this season with Lewis Suddick ranking second on the team with 18 points on eight goals and two assists. Isaac Galliford (3g, 5a) and Jared Timmer (2g, 6a) also have double-digit points this year.

Eric Dick has been one of the top goalkeepers in the BIG EAST in 2016, playing every minute for the Bulldogs while sporting a 1.09 GAA with 50 saves and a .746 save percentage.

ALL-TIME SERIES 
Saturday’s match-up will be the eighth between both squads. Marquette holds the slight advantage with a record of 4-3 with all four coming in the first five match-ups in the series. The Golden Eagles have never won in two previous meetings in Indianapolis with the last victory in the series coming back in 2013 with a 1-0 overtime win in the BIG EAST semifinal.

Last season’s meeting was the first loss at home for Marquette in the season series as Butler used a 2-0 result on the way to a BIG EAST tournament appearance. David Goldsmith recorded a brace with goals in the 23rd and 30th minutes to propel Butler and spoil Senior Night for the Golden Eagles.

COMING UP NEXT
The Golden Eagles will return home for the regular season finale and a Senior Night match-up against DePaul on Thursday, Nov. 3. Seniors John Pothast and Mac Wheeler will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to the 7:05 p.m. Central time start.

JAROSZ, SZCZEPANEK EARN CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
Redshirt sophomore Danny Jarosz (3.79 GPA; Accounting/Operation Supply Chain Management) and redshirt junior Daniel Szczepanek (3.70 GPA; Accounting) have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 Team for the first time. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 while playing in at least 50 percent of the team’s games.

Jarosz and Szczepanek join a long list of Marquette student-athletes to earn this prestigious honor. Just two years ago, former MU standouts Charlie Lyon and Axel Sjoberg capped off multiple years honored to the All-District team.

PRPA REELS LEAGUE AND NATIONAL HONORS
Luka Prpa leads the BIG EAST Conference with 24 points on nine goals and six assists after scoring three goals in his last two contests, including a 78th minute goal in a 2-1 loss to Providence on Wednesday.

The Wind Lake, Wisconsin native was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week for the third time this season and landed on the College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer National Teams of the Week for the second time this year following his two-goal performance in a win over then-second place Xavier on Oct. 22.

Also, earning league recognition were redshirt junior Daniel Szczepanek, who tallied a goal and two assists in the win over Xavier, and sophomore goalkeeper Luis Barraza, who matched a career-high with nine saves in the win.

MARQUETTE HONORED WITH NSCAA TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD
For the eighth year in a row, the Marquette men’s soccer team earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award, having compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.26 for the 2015-16 academic year. Back in July, the team placed 19 of its student-athletes on the BIG EAST All-Academic Team, which was the fourth-most of any program at Marquette.

FRESH FACES FILL THE SCORESHEET 
Through 14 matches, MU newcomers have accounted for 49 of the team’s 70 points, including 18 of 24 goals scored, led by Luka Prpa’s 24 points on nine goals and six assists.

On Oct. 22 against Xavier, a squad that ranked second in the BIG EAST and was receiving votes in the latest NSCAA poll, freshmen Luka Prpa and Connor Alba combined for three goals and an assist, while fellow freshman Patrick Seagrist notched his second assist of the season in the 4-1 victory at Valley Fields.

Back on Aug. 29, Marquette claimed a 4-0 win over NIU and three MU freshmen accounted for all four goals and 10 of the 11 points collected – the most points accounted for by a group of MU freshmen in a single game since Louis Bennett took over as head coach in 2006.

Jan Maertins and Connor Alba scored their first career tallies, while Prpa registered two goals and two assists. Prpa’s six-point effort was the most by a freshman in a single match since C. Nortey tallied six points with a hat trick in a win over Seton Hall back on Oct. 22, 2011. He would add another two-goal, two-assist performance in a 4-1 win over UIC (Sept. 2) the following match and was awarded appropriately with NSCAA and College Soccer News National Player of the Week honors.

WE ARE MARQUETTE, WE ARE GLOBAL! 
Head coach Louis Bennett has injected some international flavor to the 2016 roster as four Europeans are featured among the list of 13 newcomers. Zacharias Andreou (Cyprus), Jan Maertins (Germany), Diego Núñez (Spain), Anton von Hofacker (Norway) are not only succeeding on the pitch, but acclimating very quickly to a new team and culture.

Bennett, as well as first-year assistant coach Sean Hughes, both hail from England, while fourth-year assistant coach Marcelo Santos is a native of Brazil.

YOUTH MOVEMENT 
The 2016 Marquette squad is one of the youngest teams in BIG EAST Conference as it features the second-youngest overall roster with 12 freshmen and 10 sophomores, ranking right behind St. John’s with 16 freshmen and 10 sophomores. Marquette’s five upper classmen (2 seniors, 3 juniors) is the fewest of any BIG EAST program by far. St. John’s features the second-fewest with eight.

GOLDEN EAGLES IN THE PROS 
Louis Bennett II is just the latest Marquette signee to earn a professional contract overseas, joining 2015 alumnus C. Nortey (Akademisk Boldklub/ Denmark), 2010 grad Matt Pyzdrowski (Helsingborgs IF/Sweden) and former recruit Andrija Novakovic (Reading FC/England), who signed prior to what would have been his freshman season in 2014.

The Golden Eagles also feature three additional alumni grads currently under contract in Major League Soccer with Calum Mallace(Montreal Impact) currently in his fifth season, and Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids) and Charlie Lyon (Seattle Sounders) each in their second seasons in 2016.


 

 

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